When most North Carolinians learn that a hurricane is heading to their state, they stock up on bottled water and fill their cars with gas.

Researchers at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City take a different approach. They spring into action to begin studying the impacts of the hurricane on the community and the environment.

The 2017 hurricane season, which concludes on Nov. 30, gave them plenty of chances to conduct novel research.

One of those opportunities arose last September, when Hurricane Irma threatened to make landfall in North Carolina. One sunny afternoon before Irma’s potential arrival, graduate student Jana Haddad sloshed through a saltmarsh in Bogue Sound to deploy sensors for a project exploring wave movement through marshes during storms, which is relevant for nearby homeowners.

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Written by Kathleen Onorevole. Originally published Nov. 28, 2017.